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Wookey Jack - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Wookey JackWookey Jack

Educational use only; do not reuse.

627 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 627
Hads: 4,292
Avg: 4.24
pDev: 23.35%
Wants: 304
Gots: 819 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  8.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: barleywinefiend on 03-11-2012

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (87) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 627 | Hads: 4,292
Photo of Heynow007
2.75/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

I have to say that after the rating of 95 by BA and 100 rating by RB, I was expecting something great. Well, let's just say that I was underwhelmed. It's an IPA that dark, so there's some bitterness to it, but not too much. Similar to to great divides IPA. The Tate's is good, but greatly dissapointing for me since I'm a Stout lover. Mouthfeel is bubbly and warm notes of hops, some dark chocolates and fruits.

Overall, it's okay. Nothing great. In the same vein, I'd choose something like great divide Titan IPA instead.

That being said, I recommend stouts. Dogfish Head World wide stout is awesome.

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Photo of Murrhey
2.95/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had as part of the "Reserve Flight" at the Bruery Provisions for its Firestone Walker tap takeover. Poured in a 2oz taster. Reviewed from notes.

A- Thin white head, with decent retention. Deep black color with very little light permeation.

S- My buddy James and I both commented on how "dank" this beer smelled. Like pungent marijuana, rye, chocolate and dark hops. Not a bad smell, just different. Earthy tones.

T- Some darker hops and a middling maltiness. Not blown away by the taste.

M- Medium bodied and wet feel.

O- I was hoping for more, but this was not a bad beer at all.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.03/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

650ml brown glass bottle with foiled over pressure cap served into a conical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average given the brewery.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm slightly over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger khaki head of nice cream and thickness, and great retention for the high ABV. Colour is a solid black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Appealing for the style.

Sm: Floral hops, some pine, must, dark malts, stale malts, and cream. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Unpleasantly aggressive hop bitterness atop clean malts, some floral character, and hints of citrus. Pleasant but unimpressive. There's little complexity or subtlety. It's too bold and aggressive. Overbearing.

Mf: Too sharp. Too thick. Coarse and dry on the climax, but nicely wet on the open.

Dr: Drinkable but unremarkable. A let-down from Firestone Walker, but then I've come to expect that from them.


01/06/15: Further impressions:

I dig the label design, even if it is a bit generic. I wanted to revisit this Black IPA now that I have more experience with the style. Served cold into a pilsner glass at low altitude in Austin, TX. Reviewed live.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 2 fingers wide. Pale tan colour. Nicely creamy and full, with a sumptuous even consistency and a soft appearance. Retention is good for the ABV and style - about 8-9 minutes. Leaves a nice ring of even coating of lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes.

BODY: Predictably, it's an opaque black. More stout-like and dark than I'm accustomed to with beers of this style; few are ink-black.

Overall, it's apt for the style albeit typical. Not unique or special.

AROMA: The hop profile seems apt for the style: pine, a bit of evergreen, sappy tree resins. Suggests a sticky feeling brew with a pronounced hop profile but no untamed hop bitterness. Some cream and dark malts seem to cover up the hop bite, bringing enough sweetness to keep the brew in balance but not so much that it's cloying. Hopefully the taste lives up to the aroma.

Aromatic intensity is moderate. No yeast character, overt alcohol, or off-notes are present.

TASTE/TEXTURE: It's definitely hop forward, with pine dominating the hop profile. Subsidiary hoppy notes of evergreen, sap, and mild resins complement. The hop bitterness is a bit too aggressive, tipping the balance too much towards the hops. A sore absence of roasted barley holds the brew back, but it does have some fairly harsh dark and schwarz malts which lend it a rough-around-the-edges feel, violating the cleanliness of the flavour profile but also bringing some needed sweetness into the mix.

Like with most beers in this still-young style, the dark malts are just fundamentally mismatched to the hops. Rye's signature spiciness never manifests, making me wonder if enough rye was used in the grain bill. Fortunately, no untoward yeast presence, hop presence, or overt alcohol comes through. As it warms, a pleasant suggestion of faint milk chocolate emerges.

Moreover, the flavour profile overall is both simple and shallow, with merely average flavour duration and intensity. Has no stand-out characteristics. I do like the evergreen hop character, and I think that's the right direction to take in this style, but it undercommits.

Mouthfeelwise, it's aptly creamy and smooth, but the hop bitterness does drag on the palate and unfortunately its blatant overcarbonation restricts drinkability. A softer more luscious feel would do wonders. I like its coating, slightly chewy presence on the palate. Ultimately, this texture neither elevates the beer nor accentuates any constituent flavours.

OVERALL: This is certainly an above average attempt at the style, and while it's drinkable I can't say it's anywhere near world-class. I'll be avoiding it in the future, and continue to be skeptical of the hullabaloo surrounding Firestone Walker. More of a focus on the evergreen hop character, some tweaking of the ingredient choices (if you're going to do rye, do rye), and a leavened creamier texture would help bring this beer up to a B-.


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Photo of kscaldef
3.11/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark brown with garnet edges. Big think head leaves moderate, irregular lacing. Piney hops mix with toasty dark malt aromas. Medium heavy body with high carbonation. Dark burnt malts dominate the taste with a grassy hop finish. Mild sweetness. A pleasant enough beer, but not a standout.

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Photo of GuzzLah
3.18/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

A - pours a dense dark brown-black. Short tan head. A little bit of lacing.

S - let down. Not much going on here. Fresh beer too. Very mild floral, pine and citrus. Some woody funk that appears in many Firestone beers. The rye isn't obvious, but it's there. Mild malty aroma with a dash of hops.

T - is thankfully more robust than the aroma. There is some citrus from the hops and a mild caramel from Midnight Wheat. The rye isn't a major flavor component, but it might add a little spicyness. The flavor isn't bad, but I find it to be rather boring.

M - medium grainy texture with low-medium carbonation. Moderate bitterness with a short sustain.

O - I normally like Firestone beers, but this one was unimpressive and I won't buy it again.

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Photo of mactrail
3.23/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Handsome dark brown in the Crooked Line narrow tulip. Beige head foams up nicely. Pleasantly sudsy mouthfeel. Aroma of pineapple and resin is appealing.

The hops overwhelm any malty flavors, so it's hard to tell if there is much roasted barley taste. Has some of the herbacious flavor of many other black IPAs, but returns to the candied mango. A little charcoal. Very bitter in the aftertaste. It just doesn't know when to quit. Fruity and piney at the same time.

This seems to hit the bullseye for this sort-of style, it's black and it's totally hops. Not getting a repeat visit from me. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Liticker's in San Diego.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.33/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle. Pours dark brown with a fluffy light tan head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is roasted chocolate malts, resiny hops and some spicy rye.

The flavor is roasted dark malts with a weird blend of rye and charred plasticky resiny bitterness. The bitterness is fairly harsh and lingering in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, I really wanted to like this beer, but it just did not mesh at all. It did mellow a bit as I drank it, but still was overly abrasive and unbalanced with off-notes

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Photo of utopiajane
3.34/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This was bottled on 4/11/13 and is 106 days old. Firestone walker gives their beers 120 days.

Pours black with a thick head of beige foam that fell slowly. Left some lace. Nose is not loud. Piney hops, a smidgen of chocolate, coffee, toasted malt. Grapefruit. Earthy, spicy and a touch of caramel malt. Taste is dark roasted malt. Gentle grapefruit that was a little sourish with some hop bitter. It's smooth and a little heavy not really crisp or biting from the rye. In fact the rye is mellow and not at all bold and has a mellow spice to it. Light resin, a little oily. Moderate carbonation and finishes dry and a bit muddled. Lingering bitter in the after taste with a touch of that grapefruit. I thought this was dull and could have used more pep and more spice.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.36/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. This one pourA dark brown with about an inch of frothy light tan head. Nice sticky lace.

The aroma has nice citrus malts with some spicy rye in the background. Some hints of roasted malt in the background. A bit mellow hops on the pallet with some hints of spicy rye. Roasted malts giving a solid backbone.

The body is medium and lingers on the pallet. Soft carbonation. Overall this one is enjoyable. Would like a bit more of a hop presence on the pallet but this one is sound.

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Photo of champ103
3.37/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

About time I have put my thoughts down for this one. I have had many bottles, and on tap at several places. Throughout Houston, and elsewhere. Maybe the beer I have had the most of, without a review.

A: Pours a dark brown, nearly black color. A beige head rises to over two fingers. Rings of lace are left behind.
S: Piny, soapy, oily hops. Orange, grapefruit. Mixed with deep almost burnt caramel malts. Chocolate, light roast. A mess.
T: Again, a mess of piny, oily, orange, and grapefruit like hops with the big malt flavor. Burnt caramel malt with tons of sweetness. Some coffee, and chocolate. Finishes with an everlasting bitterness.
M/D: A full and resinous body. Almost sticky and oily. Moderate carbonation, but just very slick overall. Not hard to drink. Considering, I keep having a pint or bottle when available.

This is a hard review to write. I keep trying this cause I want to like it. Though I keep being let down. Certainly a standard for this style, if that is your thing. I have never been a fan with the clash of hops and big malts. After many tries, this is obviously not for me.

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Photo of shea117474
3.4/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on 6-21-15. This beer may not be as fresh as I've had before, but I'm pleasantly surprised by this beer and how it ages. The hops may have faded, allowing the silky/oily texture of the rye to come through.

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Photo of gillagorilla
3.45/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber poured into a Burley Oak tulip (bottled on 2/18/13)

A: A nice very dark brown that has thick strong coffee cream color head that stays for a bit, lots of big bubbles in the head and a nice lacing.

S: Straightforward sweet citrus smell, with a hint of rye and pine co-mingling in there towards the back.

T: It is a straight up roasty black IPA, with the rye coming in and mellowing out the hops. A bit of the citrus pine comes through but fades quickly. There is a nice rye tail that finishes with a malty pine aftertaste. However, the hops have faded quite a bit it seems and the malt bill doesn't hold up to back it up. I think this might actually be a combination of the rye that from other similar beers of this style (that I had fresh), seems to dull the hops, even fresh.

M: There is an even carbonation whose coarseness quickly peters out and is crisp no longer but just feels like bubbles .

O: I was expecting a lot more here, but perhaps I waited too long to try this (4 months). I really like black IPAs and this one didn't do it for me. It was bland and a sub-par black IPA. I will try again with a fresh one later but this is a miss from FW for me.

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.48/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours black with a 1/2 finger mocha colored head.

S: At first, I was picking up a lot of tropical notes, especially lychee and overripe mango. As it warms a bit, it begins to smell more of rustic rye, cracked black pepper, some faint overripe mango and a bit of something kind of woodsy that smells a bit like aftershave. Guessing that's the rye too.

T: Starts soft and sweet with mango and honey and some faint citrus hop notes. Finish brings darker flavors of roasted malt, anise, coffee and char. There's a lingering sweetness throughout that isn't helped by the seeming lack of carbonation. It's not a bad beer, but it's not my thing.

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Photo of SoCalBeerBabe
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%

Ok but not crazy impressed by this one. Certainly drinkable but not on my mentionable list.

Leaves a little something to be desired by me.

Thick dark color, rich darkened fluffy head which lingers.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a shaker pint glass at Fountainhead.

Figured I'd give this guy a try alongside some other tastiness at Fountainhead. It pours a dark ruby-highlighted black-brown topped by a finger of tan foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, pine resin, grapefruit rind, and a kiss of molasses. The taste brings in more of the same, with the grapefruit really coming in stronger and being joined by what seems to be some lime zest. The result, though, comes across as clashing, with the roasty and hoppy factions unwilling to give ground or work together. It's not an altogether awful clash, but it's certainly bloody enough. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, a generally solid black IPA, but one whose clashing flavors just don't fully do it for me.

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Photo of hophugger
3.58/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a decent tan head and minimal lacing clinging for dear life. Aroma is of roast chocolate. Taste is ok, but I expected a little more for all the hype and high scores that I see for this beer. Flavors of roasted caramel and coffee, some malt sweetnessw and some hops come through. For the most part, the beer is pretty well balanced, but the hops add an odd bitterness that doesn't balance well with the rest of the brew. A little off balanced and also not as bold as I was anticipating, slightly weak and some of the complexity that should be there is gone.......

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Photo of far333
3.59/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Deep mahogany colored and opaque. A beige thick head settles out quickly. Low aroma of citrusy hops. Flavors of citrusy hops, morphing to orange rind pith, mix of pine and rye spice. Good balance of hops and malt, leaning more towards the hops, but good presence for the roasty dark malt. Rich and full mouthfeel, creamy, finishes a bit tannic. Good beer overall.

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Photo of AlexFields
3.61/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown/near black with a reddish mahogany tint, nice thick head. Looks thinner and somehow different from a stout or porter, but very dark.

Smells of dark piney hops, hints of sweet dark malt, some orange citrus. Pretty pungent hop aroma.

Taste is more of a balance of sweet rich malt and hops; pine again, some chocolate malt, mild bitterness, a little smoke. Not a lot of citrus in the taste, more piney/grassy hops.

Mouthfeel is a little thinner than I expected. Pretty good carbonation, just not as thick a body as a lot of beers in this style.


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Photo of ccrida
3.63/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Dark chocolate brown with a small light tan head leaving very intricate lace.

Smell is cat pee and skuny hops, a little bakers chocolate, which grows as it warms

Taste is big hops, herbal and morso citrus flavor with a big bitter finish. Taste is rich and malty, dark chocolate. Alcohol is a bit to prominent.

Mouthfeel is malty, off dry, med+

Drinkability is pretty good, it's on the big side, more DCDA. Alcohol is spicy and drying, it gets a little tiring after a while.

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Photo of BIll_Currie
3.64/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I had this for the first time in Vegas a few years ago. Probably the best rye beer I've ever had. Great hop smell but not overpowering to the taste. My only critique is I think the bar stored it a bit too cold.

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Photo of tigg924
3.65/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a perfect pint glass

Appearance: dark-brown in color, 1/2 inch head, opaque, high carbonation

Smell: sweet malt, pine, tropical fruit

Taste: chocolate, pine, charred malt, and cream

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy bodied, moderate carbonation, sweet start with underlying bitterness

Overall: A good not great Black IPA. I like the way the pine and cream interact. That said, I have been blown away by just about every other beer I have had from Firestone Walker and this beer, while good did not do that.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.65/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Yep, it's black, or damn close to it. Off white head leaves to ring and islands of head. Some spotty lace.

S - Wow. It is ALL about the hops. Once you get over that, you can pick up some charred malt.

T - Something like a hoppy porter. A little washed out, IMHO.

M - Lighter on all accounts than I had hoped for. Balance veers to the hops. Good carb.

D - Glad to try.

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Photo of Lordquackingstic
3.65/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into a snifter.

A: Dark black with almost no light penetration with three fingers of an off white head. Tiny bubbles emerge and dance up the side of the glass. Spectacular lacing.

S: Smells like a spicy and tropical IPA to me!

T: Big on the spicy malt notes with a bit of hop bitterness. Not a lot of tropical flavors that the nose had. Good, but sort of weird.

M: Tingly spiciness with a little bit of heat. Medium carbonation.

O: This was my first black IPA, and I can't say I'm a fan. Not bad, just not what I'm in the mood for on a summer night. The nose on this is really awesome and it looks beautiful. Sadly it goes downhill after that. Not much downhill, but still enough to not be my cup of tea.

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Photo of chinchill
3.67/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the Barrel Republic.

Appearance: Opaque black-brown with a sudsy tan head that leaves streaks of lacing.

Aroma: Black IPA leaning towards herbal and low hops.

Flavor: Good hop/malt mix and balance. Better than the aroma suggests.

Feel: Medium+ body with good carbonation. Semi-dry.

O: Very good for style.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle purchased as a single from somewhere localish.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1 1/2" tan head over the cloudy reddish brown brew. Head lasts and lasts, with chunky lacing. Aroma is pine and spices.

Taste is spicy rye to start, citrus in the middle, and dominant pine bitterness through the close. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth, and drinkability is okay. Wish there was a bit more maltiness to support all the bitter.

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Wookey Jack from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 627 ratings.